Things are getting ugly between Kansas and Nebraska, and we aren’t talking football. We aren’t talking baseball, either. And we aren’t talking about the general population of either state, although they are both rather homely. No, this is between Pete “The Thumb” Ricketts and Sam “Darth Sidious” Brownback, governors of Nebraska and Kansas, respectively. After Nebraska’s unicameral legislature voted against Gov. Ricketts’ veto and abolished the state’s death penalty, Ricketts planned to continue with scheduled executions with illegally purchased lethal injection drugs. Not to be outdone, Brownback manipulated the republican-controlled Kansas legislature into granting him Emperor Palpatine-scale power to defund the Kansas Supreme Court should they ever rule against him. So what could make these two men, in whom their respective constituencies have vested their trust, thrust themselves into a downward spiral of idiocy?
“I was fine just being the dumbest Governor in the U.S.,” Brownback said in a phone interview. “I had just about put the final nail in the wind energy coffin when Ricketts comes along and makes it so inconvenient to harvest wind in Nebraska, everyone in the Great Plains is about to be dependent on fossil fuel until the last lump is mined from Wyoming. He made it quite clear that he wouldn’t back down from being the dumbest governor, so I stepped up my game.”
What followed was a crass game of one-upmanship that would make Steve Jobs roll over in his grave, now culminating in Brownback’s “I’ll see your illegal executions, I’ll raise you judiciary bullying” move. But Ricketts is prepared to answer.
“Brownback’s going to have to bring his F-game if he thinks he’s going to out-dumb me,” said Ricketts at his weigh-in. “Listen here; what I’ve got on tap for the state of Nebraska is gonna make Brownback look downright capable. Check it; I got public executions with mandatory attendance, including stonings and beheadings of first-time drug offenders; tax subsidies for pouring oil down gutters; and I’m bringing back Prima Nocta for the lady voters. Until I revoke women’s suffrage. Which I’m working on.”
Brownback has a wary eye on Ricketts, not willing to give up. “I’ve only got the Kansas Supreme Court in a figurative half-Nelson,” he said. “I fully intend to bend it figuratively over my desk, throw its figurative robe over its figurative head, grab it by its figurative haunches, and–”
His mic was cut at this point.
When his signal was restored, he put his thought more mildly.
“I was elected as a representative of the Republican Party to act like an idiot,” he assured Kansans everywhere, especially ones fortunate enough to live elsewhere. “I would be far from fulfilling the oath of my office if I didn’t inflict irreparable damage on the state government and voters’ confidence in democracy. With that in mind, I’ve been cooking up a plot– I mean plan– to lock poor people in shipping crates, possibly shipping them to China. We’ll probably just end up dumping them in open water, leaving them to Maritime salvage laws.”
Your move, Pete.